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Theatregirl1122
01-18-2013, 04:47 PM
I figured we should get a thread to talk about this so that the Cycling News thread can be left for... Cycling news as opposed to the Lance Armstrong circus. Especially with the Cycling season actually being about to start. Especially since a few people mentioned they were looking for one.

manhn
01-18-2013, 04:49 PM
I know nothin' excpet about Lance Armstrong except he was an ass to Sheryl Crowe. I just like Oprah. I thought she conducted a very good interview. I like her channel, even if I don't watch it that much. I like the Lisa Ling specials.

Zemgirl
01-18-2013, 05:42 PM
Oh, for sure - I am shocked that the guy who beat all the dopers (and, to give credit where it's due - some riders who were clean) turns out to have doped extensively himself. Stunning turn of events.

I wonder what kind of behind the scenes legal maneuvering is going on, considering the sheer scope of legal issues that this confession can lead to - and not just financial liability.

Anyway, just to address something that came up in the cycling thread: it's possible to have been a doper and a jerk in some contexts and to still have done good work for cancer patients and their loved ones. These things are not mutually exclusive. Armstrong shouldn't be off the hook because of his philanthropic work, but I don't feel whatever good he has done should be dismissed because of his doping, either.

I'm glad there is now a separate thread. I'm not a huge cycling fan so the cycling thread is where I get caught up on the news and fun stuff - and I'd rather read about actual races and riders and not just the Armstrong saga.

Jenny
01-18-2013, 05:54 PM
Anyway, just to address something that came up in the cycling thread: it's possible to have been a doper and a jerk in some contexts and to still have done good work for cancer patients and their loved ones. These things are not mutually exclusive. Armstrong shouldn't be off the hook because of his philanthropic work, but I don't feel whatever good he has done should be dismissed because of his doping, either.

I wonder if the good work is being called into question to - this is from an article in the Globe and Mail rounding up reactions to the interview:


In perhaps the most cutting take, an Irish cancer survivor slammed Mr. Armstrong for giving millions “false hope.” Niall Farrell described being a scared 13-year-old boy in need of a hero. He was inspired by Mr. Armstrong’s survival and sporting success and remembered thinking how he’d tell his grandchildren about the time the cyclist waved at him.

“In my head, I knew that you doped all along. But I just wouldn’t let my hero, the person who made me believe again, be destroyed,” he wrote. “But you lied. You lied to me and everyone else … on top of that, you bullied journalists, fellow cyclists and anyone else who dared question you. You were ruthless and relentless, as you said to Oprah, but to blame that on a failure to adapt to life after treatment is sickening. Stop using cancer as an excuse Lance.”

Not saying this is true because I know little about it, but he wouldn't be the first celebrity to start a foundation for tax and image reasons, and those yellow bracelets did as much for his personal brand as for their inspirational message and fundraising. True, a lot of money has been raised in his name and hopefully a lot of good work done, but it now seems as though the cost of that work has been enormous (ie negatives weighed against positives).

maatTheViking
01-18-2013, 06:23 PM
I think it was John Coughlin who wore a livestrong bracelet at skate America - I was surprised anyone was still wearing them, since I think dope and not cancer fight when I see them...

Even though it is no surprise now that he was doped, I think that the confession is significant anyway. He is more than a very successful cyclist (I don't follow cycling at all), he is a hero, a symbol, an idol of what you can overcome, and how well you can succeed. As Jenny quote shows above, people get upset when their heroes fail...

overedge
01-18-2013, 06:26 PM
I have a lot of problems with Livestrong. Not the least of which is, their message seems to rest on "if you think positive and are strong, you can beat this". So what happened to all the people who die of cancer? They didn't think positively enough?

Zemgirl
01-18-2013, 06:32 PM
Not saying this is true because I know little about it, but he wouldn't be the first celebrity to start a foundation for tax and image reasons, and those yellow bracelets did as much for his personal brand as for their inspirational message and fundraising. True, a lot of money has been raised in his name and hopefully a lot of good work done, but it now seems as though the cost of that work has been enormous (ie negatives weighed against positives).
Charity Navigator rates Livestrong pretty highly (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=6570). I know a lot of people take issue with the fact that their focus is not on funding research, but I believe they do good work in providing various types of assistance and support to cancer patients and their families, and awareness related initiatives (e.g. reducing stigma and barriers to cancer detection?). That's valuable. I think at this point, considering the scope of the positive work associated with Armstrong versus the offenses he has committed, the positives still outweigh the negatives. This is not a Penn State type situation.

If someone's view of Armstrong was entirely dependent on his having raced clean, I can see how that person would be severely disappointed and disillusioned. However, from the interview transcripts, it didn't seem to me that Armstrong used cancer as an excuse for his actions; he used the "everyone was doping and I'm flawed" line of reasoning. I never thought Armstrong was clean, and didn't idolize him, but I think the idea of someone who beat cancer and became the best was something a lot of people hung on to during difficult time, and I am sorry that this has ended in disappointment for them. However, I am happy that this story as it was known then - even though it turned out to be based on obviously false premises - gave them hope and encouragement at a time when they needed it.

Allskate
01-18-2013, 06:36 PM
The most surprising thing about the interview for me was that the beginning of the interview, where he admitted to using all those various performance enhancing drugs, was the least offensive part of the interview. He came off even worse in the rest of the inteview. He did not seem at all contrite and I didn't find him at all believable. Most of all he seemed like a grade A a$$hole. One of the saddest things for me is that he came out of his fight against cancer with the most important thing in his life being to win at any cost, including drugging the body he had just saved and destroying people who had been his friends while he was fighting cancer. It's amazing how much more I dislike this guy after watching the interview, and it's not because he used drugs because I already knew that before watching the interview.

BittyBug
01-18-2013, 06:57 PM
Spot on, Allskate. He showed absolutely no remorse, and came off as a very unlikeable person. If he's seeking redemption, I'm not sure this will that interview is going to deliver for him. (Still wondering exactly what he was hoping to accomplish by the interview. Given his lack of contrition, it seems rather ill-conceived.)

Zemgirl
01-18-2013, 07:09 PM
If he's seeking redemption, I'm not sure this will that interview is going to deliver for him. (Still wondering exactly what he was hoping to accomplish by the interview. Given his lack of contrition, it seems rather ill-conceived.)
I am very curious as to what exactly Armstrong is seeking. I'm really not sure, but I imagine that if he'd wanted to come across as contrite he would have managed it. I suspect there's something else at play here. Or maybe he's just had enough of lying and wants it to be over with? Years of keeping secrets, lying and doing various unsavory things to perpetuate these secrets and lies aren't good for the soul.

Or maybe a different reason will be revealed in the second part of the interview?

numbers123
01-18-2013, 07:24 PM
When he was diagnosed with testicular cancer - my first thought was the performance enhancing drug use relationship. One of the oncologists that I knew talked about this relationship when a young football player (in high school) developed testicular cancer.

I don't think that anyone is really surprised and like Zemgirl I wonder the what's in it for him.

Theatregirl1122
01-18-2013, 07:48 PM
I think it was John Coughlin who wore a livestrong bracelet at skate America - I was surprised anyone was still wearing them, since I think dope and not cancer fight when I see them...

Even though it is no surprise now that he was doped, I think that the confession is significant anyway. He is more than a very successful cyclist (I don't follow cycling at all), he is a hero, a symbol, an idol of what you can overcome, and how well you can succeed. As Jenny quote shows above, people get upset when their heroes fail...

I'm not at all surprised to see John (or anyone) still wearing a Livestrong bracelet. Many of my friends (and I) have been wearing them for years and I don't know anyone who has stopped. Because it was never about Lance Armstrong for them. It was about supporting loved ones who have fought and are fighting cancer.

As far as the message being "if you think positively, you can beat this!"... well, I don't think it is intended as some sort of affront to people who have lost their lives to cancer. It's just that "no matter what you do, you're dead!" isn't much of an inspirational message. People want to feel like there is something they can do to fight, even if they won't win.

Vash01
01-18-2013, 07:59 PM
The most surprising thing about the interview for me was that the beginning of the interview, where he admitted to using all those various performance enhancing drugs, was the least offensive part of the interview. He came off even worse in the rest of the inteview. He did not seem at all contrite and I didn't find him at all believable. Most of all he seemed like a grade A a$$hole. One of the saddest things for me is that he came out of his fight against cancer with the most important thing in his life being to win at any cost, including drugging the body he had just saved and destroying people who had been his friends while he was fighting cancer. It's amazing how much more I dislike this guy after watching the interview, and it's not because he used drugs because I already knew that before watching the interview.

I pretty much agree with this. He donated 'tainted' money for cancer research. If it saved lives, that should not let him off the hook. What bothered me the most about Armstrong was not the drug use but the way he destroyed whoever said (truthfully) that he used drugs.

It is possible for a person to truly feel sorry and to become a very different person. However...........

Watching his face, I did not get the feeling that he was truly contrite. He came across as a businessman who got caught with a bad product and had to answer his customers. I wouldn't buy a thing from that guy.

On CNN some lawyers were asked about potential lawsuits. Chances are he could lose upto 90 million, but he already has about 125 million, and he is not likely to serve time in prison. So even if he gets sued, pays off, he still has about 35 million to live on- more than comfortably.

manhn
01-18-2013, 08:00 PM
So even if he gets sued, pays off, he still has about 35 million to live on- more than comfortably.

Well, it depends where he is living...

Zemgirl
01-18-2013, 08:01 PM
As far as the message being "if you think positively, you can beat this!"... well, I don't think it is intended as some sort of affront to people who have lost their lives to cancer. It's just that "no matter what you do, you're dead!" isn't much of an inspirational message. People want to feel like there is something they can do to fight, even if they won't win.
Not only is the latter not an inspirational message, it's also an all too common belief that is very harmful. Too many people avoid screenings that could save their lives because of fatalistic beliefs regarding cancer and other misconceptions. There are cultures where cancer patients are made to feel like they have no hope and in some cases, like they have done something to deserve their illness. There's a lot of work still to be done in addressing stigma and misconceptions about cancer and in making sure that people not only have access to screening and treatment, but that they are able to use this access and to get whatever support they need.

Finally, while positive thinking in itself can't beat cancer, it does help to approach treatment in as positive a frame of mind as possible.